William A. Bake Papers Collection Re-Processed

Fresh off the re-processing table are the William A. Bake papers.  The finding aid for this collection has been updated to increase access and discoverability.  The following blog post was originally published in 2016, by Dan Devine.


Boundary Cliffs, 2003 

Boundary Cliffs, 2003

 

William A. Bake, (1939–2016), a native of Michigan and resident of Boone, North Carolina, was an accomplished photographer, writer, teacher, and environmentalist.

William Bake hiking the Boundary Mountains in 2004

William Bake hiking the Boundary Mountains, 2004

Bake is known for his stunning landscape and nature photography on Appalachia and southern regionalism. He was even considered to be the “Andrew Wyeth of photography.”

The Blue Ridge by William A. Blake, 1977

The Blue Ridge by William A. Blake, 1977

Before beginning his career path into professional photography, Bake worked as a writer and editor for the National Park Service in the Division of Publications where he broadened his experiences in observational writing and environmentalism. By 1976, Bake had started publishing his works on the Blue Ridge region and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was around the same time that Bake began to teach at Appalachian State University while living in Boone, North Carolina.

Shadows on Ridges, Boundary Mountains, 2005

Shadows on Ridges, Boundary Mountains, 2005

After spending three years as an Appalachian State Practitioner-in-Residence for the Educational Media at the College of Learning and Human Development, he studied under famous photographer, Ansel Adams. This ultimately caused Bake to leave his job as a teacher to pursue his passion and a career in photography.

Meat Camp Cabin, 1979

Meat Camp Cabin, 1979

By collaborating with publishing companies like Oxmoor House Publishing and Viking Press, Bake’s research and observations on Appalachia and the South led to publishing some of his major books: The American South: Four Seasons of the Land (1980); The American South: Towns and Cities (1982); Wayfarer: A Voice from the Southern Mountains (1988); and, Valle Crucis (1997). “Meat Camp Cabin” (above), “On High Route”, “High January”, and “White Bear Ridge” are now some of Bake’s well-known works in photography.


Across the Divide, Boundary Mountains, 2005 

Across the Divide, Boundary Mountains, 2005

Bake’s photographs have appeared in Southern Living, Natural History, Audubon, Reader’s Digest, National Wildlife, The New York Times, Sierra Club, Popular Photography, The Washingtonian, GEO, Southern Accents, Yankee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, International Photo-Technik, Backpacker, National Wildlife, Travel and Leisure, National History, Outdoor World, National Geographic Society, and more.

Appalachian Pastorale, 1979

Appalachian Pastorale, 1979

Bake used large format cameras for his photography. He is widely published in distinguished magazines, exhibited in museums, and bought by serious collectors all over the nation.

Bass Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, 2006

Bass Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, 2006

With much of his photography primarily focused on the Appalachian mountains and the southern region, Bake continued to capture photographs of landscapes and culture within his local area in the High Country.

Long Hope Sunset, undated

Long Hope Sunset, undated

List of William A. Bake books available at Belk Library and Information Commons:

The American South: four seasons of the land

The American South: towns & cities

The Blue Ridge 

Blue Ridge Parkway: the first 50 years

Mountains and meadowlands along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Valle Crucis

Wayfarer: a voice from the Southern mountains

 

Learn more about the William A. Bake Papers at this link

Published: Mar 21, 2022 10:52am

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